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How to talk about multiples with “倍”

倍, multiples in Chinese, learning chinese


To talk about multiplication and multiples in Mandarin Chinese, you can use 倍 (bèi). This character works very much like "-times" or "-fold" in English. In other words, you can use 倍 to say things like "A is twice as good as B" in everyday conversation.

想用中文表达乘法和倍数的话,你可以用"倍"字。"倍"字的用法和英文里的"-times"或"-fold"基本相同。换句话说,日常谈话中你可以在用"倍"字表达类似"A比B好两倍"的意思。

 

Using 倍 with 是

 

[noun] 是 [noun] 的 [number] 倍

 

Notice how Chinese says the two nouns first, then the number and then 倍. English puts the number with 'times' between the two nouns.

注意,中文里先说名词然后才是数字和"倍"字,而英文里数字和"times"(倍数)则放于两个名词之间。

 

Examples:

例:

 

中国人口大约是英国人口的二十一倍。

zhōngguó rénkǒu dàyuē shì Yīngguó rénkǒu de èrshíyī bèi.

The population of China is about twenty-one times that of the UK.

 

米饭的热量是白菜的数倍。

mǐfàn de rèliàng shì báicài de shù bèi.

Rice has several times more calories than cabbage.

 

氧原子的重量几乎是氢原子的十六倍。

yǎng yuánzǐ de zhòngliàng jīhū shì qīng yuánzǐ de shíliù bèi.

Oxygen atoms are almost sixteen times heavier than hydrogen atoms.

 

我现在的体重是过去的两倍。

wǒ xiànzài de tǐzhòng shì guòqù de liǎng bèi.

My current weight is twice as high as before.

 

For giving straight multiplications of numbers, the structure is usually changed a little bit. It's still basically the same, though. Some examples:

为直接突出倍数,该结构通常会有些变化。不过,基本上还是没什么差别。比如:

 

二的四倍是八。

èr de sì bèi shì bā.

Two times four is eight.

 

三的三倍是九。

sān de sān bèi shì jiǔ.

Three times three is nine.

 

Note that there is a special way of saying "double". Instead of 两倍, you might also hear people say 双倍. Some examples:

注意,"double"还有一种特殊的表达法,有时候你可能会听人们用"双倍"而不是"两倍"。例如:

 

一角硬币的价值是五分的双倍。

yījiǎo yìngbì de jiàzhí shì wǔ fēn de shuāng bèi.

Ten cent coins are worth twice as much as five cent coins.

 

你加班,我付你双倍工钱。

nǐ jiābān wǒ fù nǐ shuāng bèi gōngqián.

I'll pay you double for working overtime.

 

Using 倍 with 有

 

[noun] 有 [noun] 的 [number] 倍

 

This structure is identical to the one above, but 是 is swapped for 有. Bear in mind that in most situations the 是 structure is probably the better choice. Let's have a look at some example sentences:

这个结构与上面的一样,但把"是"换为"有"。记住一点,大部分情况下最好还是使用"是"的结构。看看这些例子:

 

光速有声速的八十八万多倍。

guāngsù yǒu shēngsù de bāshíbā wàn duō bèi.

The speed of light is more than eight hundred and eighty thousand times the speed of sound.

 

他们国家的物价有我们国家的两倍。

tāmen guójiā de wùjià yǒu wǒmen guójiā de liǎng bèi.

Commodity prices in their country are twice as high as in ours.

 

Each of the above sentences could just as well be expressed with 是 instead of 有. Also be prepared for some variations on these structures, such as:

上面的每个例句中,"有"都可以用"是"代替。同样,这些结构也有一些变化,如:

 

法定假日加班有三倍的工资。

fǎdìng jiàrì jiābān yǒusān bèi de gōngzī.

According to law, holiday overtime pay must be three times higher.

 

我们的投资数额有好几倍的差距。

wǒmen de tóuzī shù'é yǒu hǎojǐ bèi de chājù.

The amount we invest differs by several times.

 

Using 倍 with 比

 

[noun] 比 [noun] [adjective] [number] 倍

 

When you use 倍 with 比 like this, the multiplication is one time more.

当你用"比"搭配"倍"的时候,真正的倍数其实是多一倍。

 

That means that if you use 一倍 in this structure, you're doubling the amount. If you use 两倍 in this structure, you're tripling the amount.

也就是说,如果你在这个结构里用"一倍"的话,实际上你指的是两倍数量,当你用"两倍"的时候,你说的是三倍数量。

 

If you're confused, looking at these example sentences should help. To try and make this clearer, each example is given twice, once with the 是 structure and once with the 比 structure.

要是觉得有点困惑,看看以下例子会有所帮助。为了解释得更清楚,每个例子均用两种结构表达,一个是用"是"的结构,一个是用"比"的结构。

 

The blue box is twice as heavy as the red box.

蓝箱子比红箱子重一倍。

lán xiāngzi bǐ hóng xiāngzi zhòng yī bèi.

蓝箱子的重量是红箱子的两倍。

lán xiāngzi de zhòngliàng shì hóng xiāngzi de liǎng bèi.

 

There are three times as many of them as us.

他们的人数比我们多两倍。

tāmen de rénshù bǐ wǒmen duō liǎng bèi.

他们的人数是我们的三倍。

tāmen de rénshù shì wǒmen de sān bèi.

 

This city's population is three times that city's.

这个城市的人口比那个城市的多两倍。

zhège chéngshì de rénkǒu bǐ nàgè chéngshì de duō liǎng bèi.

这个城市的人口是那个城市的三倍。

zhège chéngshì de rénkǒu shì nàgè chéngshì de sān bèi.


Translated from: ChineseBoost

2016-06-21

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